Choosing the Proper Crane: 7 Essential Factors

Home » Knowledge » Choosing the Proper Crane: 7 Essential Factors

Thanks to various technological advancements, cranes are now a lot more useful and efficient, and almost every demolition and construction project uses cranes of different sizes and capacities. They are also used for the shipping and transport of various materials, and if you are involved in a project with a crane requirement, your project’s success will undoubtedly have a lot to do with the crane you select. Choosing the ideal one from a reliable company like PM Cranes will help you avoid any potential damage and accidents, and it can also help save you money and time as it enhances the efficiency of your site or project. But how can you then choose the right one? Here are the most essential factors you should consider when selecting the proper crane.

Assess the load

The very first thing you should do is assess the load. What is the load’s weight, and what is its size? It would follow that your crane should have an ideal lifting capacity to move or lift the load. If the crane you choose has too high a capacity, you are simply wasting money, labour, and time. But if you were to select a crane with a capacity that’s too low, it could result in accidents and load damage.

If you can gain access to a load chart, much better. This will give you various crane features like boom length and the crane’s rated capacity. The rated capacity is the actual gross weight a crane can lift at a specific distance or radius.

Also, when you are choosing the proper crane, you have to deduct the ball or hook block and cable plus rigging from the crane’s gross weight capacity. With this, you can be more confident in your choice of crane for your project – and you will also ensure its enhanced safety.

If you consult with a manufacturer and supplier, they can provide you with a chart that will give you details on their cranes’ precise dimensions and specifications. It then allows you to compute the optimum lift at any radius.

Additionally, assess the kind of load you would like to lift or move. For instance, carrying or lifting a tank filled with liquid requires unique conditions, especially when you compare it to simply moving heavy machinery or concrete blocks. In other words, the load is crucial as it defines the lifting you require, which will decide the kind of crane you need.

Figure out the length of the job or project and its limits

There are various specifications for cranes, as you will already know, and they all come with varying functionalities and capabilities. Therefore, you need to have a good and proper understanding of your project’s requirements so you can choose the equipment that meets your needs, including the demands of your project and its limitations, such as schedules and time frames. Depending on the requirements of the job, you could also consider crane rental, as it is more practical in a lot of cases.

Determine the transport of the equipment

Another major point to consider is how the equipment will be brought to the site or transported. It is a consideration that is often neglected or overlooked, but we can’t stress enough how crucial it is. For example, cranes are usually categorised as mobile, tower, rough terrain or crawler, and so on. But all of these will require different modes of transport. You may also need permission from the local councils when it comes to the transportation of heavy equipment and cranes.

The transport routing may require that you take an indirect or meandering route. Still, sometimes this is necessary to avoid a bridge with low clearance or capacity, such as roadways that cannot handle larger trailers or loads. In addition, it ensures that you can prevent issues (like road construction projects) or even potential accidents.

Determine the height

As will be explained by crane manufacturers and providers, another consideration is the lifting height. The load’s lifting height is equally critical to the crane’s loading capacity, and the boom’s length will depend on your requirements regarding how high you would need the load to go. For example, if you require vertical construction, you will require a boom with a longer length. You also have to evaluate the conditions of the weather, particularly the wind conditions. If the height of the lift is higher, the wind is more likely to sway the lift’s load, which can result in accidents. You would also have to adjust the counterweight amount according to the height of the lift.

Figure out the horizontal moving distance

The crane also has to travel horizontally to pick up the required load, and if you require equipment transport from one place to another, you need a mobile crane. If you have a fixed pathway, you can use cranes equipped with rails.

Check the terrain on-site

All kinds of cranes will require a support structure holding them as firmly and with as much stability as possible. It is a critical element, as it can stabilise the load (and the crane). It follows, then, that your selected crane has to be suitable for the terrain on your site.

If the terrain is uneven, you have to select the support width carefully. If you deal with rough terrains, such as many off-road sites, it’s best to use cranes suitable for moving across rough terrain. On the other hand, if the landscape is firm and flat, truck-mounted cranes are ideal as they offer more stability and mobility.

You should also gain a good understanding of the level of mobility you would need on your site. For example, if you need to have exact delivery and flexibility in tighter spaces, you may do well with a mini-crane.

Get to know the kinds of cranes

  • Tower cranes

These kinds of cranes are often used in constructing tall structures, and since they are fixed, they offer stability with the way they are bolted or fixed to slabs of concrete. Their lifting capacity can extend from 8 tonnes to up to 35 tonnes, and they’re often ideal for long-term use. But since they are huge and have a tremendous reach, you need to be extra careful and take extra safety measures with their use. In addition, only a skilled and trained operator can operate them, and extreme weather can also hamper your project’s schedule.

  • Truck cranes

Truck-mounted cranes are usually ideal for short-term projects or jobs. These types of cranes are popular, and we can see them almost anywhere along motorways and roadways since they can easily move from one location to another. These are most suitable for commercial projects and industrial sites and the construction of bridges, and so on. Truck cranes are not just a familiar sight – they are also easy to acquire and can have a capacity of 30 tonnes to more than 1000 tonnes.

  • Crawler cranes

A crawler crane is mounted on a track, and this track is mobile. The tracks are designed for various types of terrain or ground, including softer ground. Crawler cranes can lift heavy weights and loads, but they are also quite bulky and a hassle to transport from one place to another. They also cost a lot to assemble, and dismantling is expensive.